Tofu could be prepared in different ways, it could be baked, it could be grilled, and it could be fried. Every single technique of those will have its benefits but the final choice will depend on which one you prefer the most. Usually, the baked recipes are considered the healthiest after the grilled ones and since tofu could be baked, it is important to share the method of baking it and the different steps that should be taken. In order to know how to bake tofu, you should first know what tofu is, how it should be first prepared, and then go with the different recipes you might choose from.
Any type of food you decide to cook will go through the preparation phase and which will depend on this type of food that you have chosen. When it comes to tofu, the pressing step is beneficial before getting to the cooking phase and that is all about the preparation thing when it comes to tofu.
Can You Bake Tofu?
Tofu is an Asian type of food that is made by coagulating soybeans through pressing the milk resulting from them; it mainly comes from the Asian world that is considered the leader in preparing it in different ways and adding it to different recipes. Tofu is believed to carry several benefits for the human body and that is considered the main reason why a lot of people have recently tried it and are now learning the different ways they could prepare it at home.
There are different ways to cook tofu through; you could fry it and this is considered the easiest and the one most famous, you could grill it, and you could bake it. Yes, tofu could be actually baked and this technique is considered a healthy method to depend on more than you manage to go for the fried tofu. Before knowing the steps that you are supposed to follow in order to bake the tofu, it is important to know how tofu should be prepared first.
There are different types of tofu out there and in addition to knowing the difference in order to choose the one that is considered most suitable for your dish, you should also know the difference in order to understand how you are supposed to treat every single type and handle it during the preparation phase. The types of tofu include the silken, the soft, and the regular ones which are known as the hard and the extra hard.
The preparation phase of tofu is all about pressing the extra moisture out of it; if you are dealing with the silken tofu then it should not be pressed because otherwise it will get easily and quickly destroyed, if you are using the soft tofu then you should also skip the pressing part because it will also crumble, and finally if you are going to use the regular hard type then it is okay to go with the pressing thing without worrying about losing it all.
The phase of pressing the tofu is important because tofu is usually stored in water and this water might ban it from being cooked properly and might also dilute the marinate or sauce that you are going to use and thus might end up being a bad food that a lot of people will never enjoy or like. To press the tofu, there are two different techniques which will mainly depend on the time you have; you could cut the tofu into small cubes and press them between your palms if you are in a hurry, but if you have time then you should bring a large plate then place the tofu on a clean paper towel on that plate – make sure to slice the tofu in this process to make it easier – then place another paper towel or cloth on top of it, place another plate, and finally put another tray or heavy thing on top to help in the pressing process. This method might take more time because you will need to leave it for an hour or a little bit less, but is considered effective in bringing almost all the water out from the tofu – make sure to check in the middle of the process whether your cloth needs to be changed or could complete the process as it is.
Best Way to Bake Tofu
There are different things which you will get introduced to every single time you manage to search for how people deal with tofu and how they go through the preparation and cooking phases. One of the different examples to show here is for those who prefer their tofu to have a very spongy texture; people tend to freeze it for not so long, about 24 hours, in order to have that texture which they prefer. When the tofu is frozen, the water starts to turn into clean ice crystals and thus changes the structure of the protein, making it spongier and absorbent once it’s defrosted.
Whenever your mind takes you to a specific technique or method to try with tofu, you could go for it because even though you might fail, there is a great possibility that you might succeed as well. You could also give yourself the chance to search for the different ways people deal with tofu and the different techniques which could give you the results that you are searching for, because you will eventually get an answer and prepare your tofu in the way you want.
When it comes to the baked tofu then you should know that the process is easy and is one which you could try as a beginner, in addition to the fried one, because there aren’t a lot of steps which you will need to go through and undertake. When the tofu comes out of the oven, it is usually great for having it as a snack or even for being tossed in a stir fry because it will be crunchy from the outside and creamy from the inside, but once it is left to cool down, it could be used with salads and sandwiches because at this point it becomes firm and chewy.
There are two different options for having the baked tofu; either to buy it ready-made or else to prepare it at home, and we definitely prefer the second option. Baking tofu is easy and the steps which you are supposed to go through include:
- At the beginning, you will of course go through the pressing stage which is considered the preparation phase to get all the water out from the tofu, and this also means that you are going to use the firm tofu type.
- When it comes to the next step, you will need to decide whether you need tofu sticks or else will cut it into small cubes. To make this decision, you will need to know the recipe you are going to use it in and go further with the process; if you are going to use it in salads then cubes would be better, but if you will be adding it to sandwiches then sticks would be the right choice.
- If you are planning to eat the baked tofu right away when they come out of the oven, you could toss the pieces into cornstarch in order to get a crispier texture from the outside, but if you are not going to eat it right away then you could skip this part because with or without the cornstarch, leaving the cubes to cool down will make them chewy from the outside.
- Coming to the step related to the sauce or marinade. A lot of people prefer to cook their tofu cubes in a marinade of their choice and if you are one of them then this should be the step to consider. Even though leaving the cubes of tofu in the marinade overnight is considered always better, you could still prepare those cubes by keeping them in the marinade for half an hour and they will still manage to soak up some extra flavor. The flavor of the marinade will differ according to your choices and what you have prepared because people tend to mix different things together and come up with a totally different kind of sauce at the end.
- Going through all these different stages, you will eventually come to the part where you will place the tofu in the heated oven. You will use a baking sheet to place the tofu on and the time of baking will depend on the size and shape of tofu, it will range between 20 and 45 minutes. During the process make sure to toss the tofu to give all the sides the chance to be baked equally and remove the tofu pieces from the oven when they start to turn golden brown from the outside. The more you leave the tofu, the chewier it will become.
There are different baked tofu recipes that you could try and which will depend on the marinade you are using because it is mainly the thing that changes the taste of what you are eating. The baked tofu cubes could be used in different ways and in several dishes, they could be added to salads, they could be used in sandwiches, they could be used in wraps, and they could be eaten the way they are when they get out of the oven.
In addition to the different tofu baking recipes, there are different other ways to use tofu when they are stir fried or when they are grilled, and that comes in addition to using it the way it is after pressing the water out of it. The best thing about tofu is that it could be used in so many different ways, giving the person a variety of options to choose from to avoid getting easily bored.
Tofu is a healthy food type that could be used for different reasons and could manage to deliver several benefits to the human body. Tofu comes in different types and every single one is chosen according to the way it is going to be prepared in and the dish it will be added to. Baked tofu is considered the easiest to prepare and also turns out to be the healthiest, which are two enough reasons to convince you to try baking your tofu and receiving the benefits it could manage to deliver to your body.